This week, my Fiend Folio entries focus on basic grunt monsters from the original Folio. My rewrites give little twists to both of these monsters, but keep them as low-level thugs with a little different flavor.
Amphibious creatures usually found in sea-shore caves, crabmen are nine foot tall humanoids but with a hard, reddish-brown exoskeleton. Instead of hands they have two pincers.
Crabmen greatly value silver and will go to any lengths to obtain it, even attacking a character suspected of carrying any item made of this metal. In normal circumstances, however, they are quite pacific creatures, though from time to time an instinct makes them leave their coastal dwelling to mount a savage raid inland, roaming in bands of 30 or 40 creatures and pillaging all property in their path, not hesitating to attack those who would defend.
Crabmen are often subjected to raids by sahuagin who consider them a tasty delicacy. However the sahuagin's usual net-throwing tactics are ineffective against crabmen since the latter's natural weaponry allows them to cut through nets very quickly.
Large humanoid, neutral
Skills: Athletics +4, Perception +2
Senses: Tremorsense 30 feet, Passive Perception 12
Languages: Aquan, Common
Pincers: melee weapon attack, reach 5 feet, one target, hit 7 (2d4+2) slashing damage. A creature struck by the crabman must roll a Strength save (DC 12) or become grappled.
This subterranean race of huge black bipedal birds contains ferocious fighters which need never check morale. Long ago the dire corbies lost the power of flight; however they make up for this with their great strength and ferocity, always attacking and fighting to the death. What were once wings have now developed as two powerful arms which end in sharp, rock-hard claws.
They hunt in flocks, running down their hapless victims, at the same time emitting horrifying shrieks. They have rudimentary language (their attack cry can be recognised as 'Doom! Doom I' by those familiar with it).
Dire corbies live in large underground caverns; at one time there was open warfare between them and giant bats, but this has now become an uneasy truce.
Medium humanoid, neutral evil
Skills: Perception +3, Stealth +4
Senses: Darkvision 120 feet, Passive Perception 13
Languages: Dire Corby
Disorienting Shrieks: Creatures within 20 feet of a dire corby must succeed on a DC 10 Wisdom saving throw, or it can’t take reactions until the end of its next turn. On its turn, the target can’t move, and it uses its action to make a melee or ranged attack against a randomly determined creature within range. If the target can’t attack, it does nothing on its turn.
Claws: melee weapon attack, reach 5 feet, one target, hit 9 (2d6+2) slashing damage.